Many car accident victims suffer from traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). Even a minor collision, such as a slow-speed rear-end accident, can cause someone to suffer from a TBI, especially if the impact caused the person’s head to violently snap back and forth. Sometimes, drivers can hit their head on the steering wheel hard enough to cause a concussion or another type of brain injury.
There are many different types of car accident injuries, but a TBI is a more complex injury than a broken arm, and the symptoms can be very diverse. However, the TBI victim does not have to go through the experience alone. A lawyer can fight on their behalf and protect their rights. For this reason, it is always important to speak to a lawyer if one has a significant injury that was caused by a person’s negligent actions.
What are the Different Categories of TBIs?
There are different categories and levels of TBIs, depending upon the severity of the symptoms. Here are the different grades of traumatic head injuries:
- Mild concussion (mTBI): Concussions occur when someone hits their head on something or if the head is jostled or severely jarred. Most TBIs involve some form or level of concussion. This level of TBI can include a brief loss of consciousness, dizziness, and confused behavior, headaches, some nausea, and slight memory loss. Most mTBIs are minor, and many people recover after a short period of time.
- Moderate TBI: This grade of TBI can include the loss of consciousness longer than just a few minutes but less than a day.
- Severe TBI: This level of TBI can usually be diagnosed with a noticeable change on a CT scan or MRI of the brain. This level of brain injury can cause the person to lose consciousness for longer than a day or multiple days. Also associated with this level of damage is swelling of the brain.
- Uncomplicated TBI: CT and MRI scans are normal, regardless of the mild, moderate, or severe grade.
- Complicated TBI: This level of TBI has findings of bleeding on the brain, as well as possible swelling of the brain, along with all of the symptoms from the lower levels of TBIs.
- Closed head injury: Almost all TBIs are closed head injuries, meaning that there is not a break in the skin that is causing bleeding or puncture or fracture of the skull. With closed head injuries, the force or impact or jostling of the head did not rise to the level of a break in the skin and bleeding. However, a closed head injury can involve significant brain damage.
- Open head injury: This is a type of injury that causes a penetration of the head and skull that causes bleeding and direct damage to the brain tissue. This type of brain injury is usually caused by someone being struck with a sharp object, bullet wound, knife, or something else that can pierce the skull bone.
- Nontraumatic: Also known as a hypoxic-anoxic brain injury. These brain injuries are not caused by violent accidents or being struck in the head, they are caused by conditions or events that cause the brain to not receive enough oxygen, such as a stroke or some seizures.
How is a TBI Diagnosed?
There are certain diagnostic tests that can detect a TBI, but many brain injuries go undiagnosed. A neurologist can also perform certain cognitive testing that can demonstrate deficiencies in concentration, memory, balance, coordination, and motor skills. However, if the injury is severe enough, positive findings can be found on CT scans and MRIs of the head and brain. Also, blood tests can look for a certain type of protein in the blood that could indicate the presence of a concussion.
What are Symptoms of Brain Injuries?
There are many possible TBI symptoms, but symptoms depend upon what type and grade of brain injury. Some patients can suffer from many of these symptoms at different times of their recovery and treatment. Every brain injury case is different. Some common symptoms of brain injuries include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Lack of focus
- Lack of coordination
- Changes in mood
- Changes in personality
- Abnormal behavior
- Light sensitive
- Excessive sleeping
- Inability to sleep
- Unable to speak clearly
How can a Car Accident Lawyer Help Me if I Have a Brain Injury?
Being seriously injured in a car accident is devastating, but suffering from a brain injury caused by a violent car crash can be even more traumatizing. The symptoms of a TBI can be so diverse and uncontrollable, even to the point where the injured person’s personality can change.
When a negligent driver causes a TBI, the best course of action for the victim is to contact an experienced lawyer. A lawyer who has the knowledge, skills, and resources can take on the defendant. A lawyer can help a TBI victim in the following ways:
- Answer all of the client’s questions, and develop a plan of action for the case in order to hold the appropriate defendant responsible.
- Request and obtain all pertinent medical records that demonstrate the injury and treatment.
- Obtain the police accident report.
- Go to the scene of the crash and take pictures, including anything that might be useful to prove fault.
- Take note of any security cameras in the area that might show the accident happening, including any stop light cameras or business or home security cameras that might have captured the accident.
- Draft and file the lawsuit to begin the litigation process.
- Track down and take recorded statements from any witnesses to the collision so their memories of what happened do not fade over time.
- Obtain any background information on the negligent driver that might be pertinent in the case.
- Negotiate with the health insurance company to make sure medical bills are paid.
- Hire an accident reconstruction expert if it is necessary to scientifically recreate what occurred in the accident to prove the defendant’s negligence.
- Hire a vocational and economics expert to calculate the lost wages that are due.
- Make sure all of the unpaid medical bills are calculated and paid through any settlement or jury verdict.
- Take depositions of any witnesses, experts, and the defendant.
- Take depositions.
- Communicate with the insurance adjusters and defendant’s lawyer.
- Negotiate and attempt to settle the case prior to a jury trial.
- Conduct a jury trial.
If one has a serious brain injury from a car or truck accident due to someone’s negligent driving, then they will need help with holding the at-fault party responsible. A lawyer can fight on behalf of their client.
Virginia Beach Car Accident Lawyers Help Victims Suffering From Car Accident-Related Brain Injuries
You need an experienced Virginia Beach car accident lawyer who has the knowledge, skills, and resources to fight for your rights if you have a TBI. At East Coast Trial Lawyers, we understand that TBIs are often lifelong, and we will address all of your concerns. Call us at 757-352-2237 or complete our online form for a free consultation. Located in Virginia Beach, we serve clients throughout Chesapeake, Eastern Shore, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk, Virginia, as well as North Carolina and nationwide.